Monday, 9 April 2012

abandon hope, all ye who enter here

...well, to begin with, I reckon I ought to start by saying that this entry might need a parental guidance certificate, I may be about to launch into some slightly iffy bits and pieces about the human body - perhaps more specifically to do with some of the possible complications of that of the male of the species (no, not that bit, you mucky-minded lot) - so if you think you're at all likely to be offended, disturbed, perturbed or otherwise unsettled by the slightly scatological musings relating to the...let's say, lower bowel region, I'd advise a swift departure - consider yourselves warned, and don't come whinging to me at the end if your retinas have dropped off or something.

- anyway, the Prostate Gland, then - this'd be one of them things - specifically, the whole getting-it-checked-out-procedure - that blokes, generally speaking, are quite unlikely to talk to one another about, whether over the phone, down the pub, or - well, in just about any imaginable situation. So I'm gonna bust up a bit of a taboo and air it out right here in public.

...perhaps I should rephrase that last bit.

- so. As a fella of 'a certain age', it becomes somewhat of a pastime to start considering the possibility of having bits of yourself starting to malfunction (over and above the various parts of you that have lately seen fit to start reminding you of all the stupid stuff you did when you were younger and made out of rubber, and could get away with jumping off roofs and being knocked down by cars or falling off bikes (etc.) - by way of them taking longer to wake up than the rest of you, or to have taken on a 'twinge' or a creaking sound every now and again) - and to maybe, possibly, think seriously about just making sure that they're not going to pack up on you anytime soon, or aren't going to develop unwelcome swellings, or...whatever.

So, Proctology, eh? You have to wonder just what might give someone the idea to specialise in such a very particular area of medical practise - I suppose the same must be true though of gynaecology, which I'm sure must be a much more intimately intrusive procedure for anyone undergoing it - it's just that blokes are basically wimps about all this sort of thing: anyway, I'm booked in for being looked up, not 'cause there's anything wrong, more than likely-ly, but just to make sure there isn't. So I guess pretty soon I'm gonna have to grin and bear it, and take it like a man.

I suppose for the typical bloke, one of the chief concerns is the (probably) entirely irrational fear that you'll get a doctor who enjoys his work just a bit too much, maybe seeing it as a vocation rather than just a job - and you'll be worrying that maybe he or she is getting just a bit too comfortable with whatever they're getting up to back there.

Just a thought here - as much as we're uncomfortable with the idea of all this, it really can't be a great day in the doc's diary, either - look at it from their point of view (literally), and imagine walking a mile in their shoes...or more correctly I suppose, spending ten minutes in their rubber gloves. That can't be anything like fun - there you are, with a random wrinkled rose winking at you and the old poorly punch-bag hanging down like a badly-packed pinata right in front of your face while you're contemplating a quick bit or rectum-wrestling; whichever end of the equation you're on, a bluebird on yer shoulder isn't gonna make a whit of a difference.

I'd also tend to be thinking it'd be good to have something diverting to talk about while it all goes on, principally to take your mind off the fact there's a practical stranger shaking hands with your colon - choice of subject-matter for discussion should probably be carefully considered - for example it probably wouldn't be a good idea to bring up the subject of your potholing holiday in the peak district while you've got a doctor's digits up your doddy-pocket; likewise, veer away from anything that might lead you towards the story of the little dutch boy holding back the floodwaters.

Meanwhile, I'm kind of considering that it might be an idea to learn a few ventriloquism-tricks, so's the doc maybe doesn't feel quite so alone back there, or that the conversation seems a bit one-sided from where he is; and while I know they always say it's easier to 'do' conversations if you just be yourself, I'm reckoning it'd actually be kind of hard to be yourself if you're facing the wrong way. And of course a confident stance and strong eye-contact are right out of the question. 

I can almost imagine what it must be like at the other end too, though I'm not really trying very hard at it if I'm honest - just the things that might go through the doc's mind while he's scruttling about up your scooby-tube, hoping he's not gonna find any hidden treasures clogging up the corners while he's ferreting about...or maybe he or she will simply be wondering about whether or not to employ the endoscope - and y'know, though I'm not sure if I've actually got a 'good side' when it comes to being photographed, I'm almost certain it's not likely to be anywhere up there.

<edit> - there's another thing to consider too - an angle I hadn't thought of, so thanks to ~brighid for the suggestion - to do with homophobia rearing up its ugly head, perhaps quite literally - some blokes of course might ultimately be worried about the possibility that they'll be halfway through this process and suddenly realise they're quite...enjoying it - it's uncharted territory after all for probably a sizeable majority of males, and it could be worrying to wonder about whether or not you might start feeling the need for return visits to the doc's examination room, whether you need 'em or not, and in spite of the doc's assurances that there's absolutely nothing wrong; and then you'd be demanding a second opinion. And a third - just to be...sure. Honest.

'course, if you get a lady doctor that's maybe less of a concern, though fellas generally do tend to get a bit nervous about the prospect of being felt up by a stranger if it's not deliberately leading to something else, in case of some other kind of swelling showing up for the doctor's attention. People will pay good money for similar kinds of 'entertainment'. Erm, so I'm told. It could be a very worrying thing, all this, that you might find out a lot more about yourself from your little visit than you were expecting to, not least the prospect of a somewhat life-altering lifestyle-adjustment.</edit>

...anyway, I thought I'd be done with examinations after I'd finished school - I dunno exactly how they'd go about grading this sort of test, though: the other thing is, it's not like it's something you can have a quick practice at before you go in, like you might rehearse your French vocab with your mates, or build up to making a presentation to an audience or something - and I'm pretty sure it'd be well beyond the normal bounds of a friendly favour to ask your mate round to give you a hand for a couple of minutes.


Of course the next thing after all that will be that you'll get home and there'll be a bad-news message from the doc on your answerphone, about how he seems to have mislaid his watch somewhere...

- hmm, too much, maybe?

...that'd better be it for this little bit of now, I'll leave you to ruminate...

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